There are probably ten or twelve movies that – if unwittingly stumbled across while channel surfing on my couch – require I watch them through to the credits, despite having seen them dozens of times before. A mismatched mix of sappy rom-coms, 90s blockbusters and Tom Hanks’ entire cinemagraphic repertoire, these films pull me in time after time again, offering me the chance to quote entire Bill Pullman monologues and threatening to rob me of my precious free time for 90 minutes to three hours in a single sitting.
While the elitist in me wishes I were about to rattle off a list of Oscar contenders and foreign language masterpieces, my list of feel-good films are all from a simpler time when Russell Casse always gets past the alien shields, Alan Parrish always rolls a three and every Tom Hanks protagonist – from Josh Baskin to Sam Baldwin to Joe Fox – always gets the girl.
In honor of that last film – which was You’ve Got Mail, but I’m sure you knew that – I’d like to post a throwback to my own dial-up AOL days, from the meticulously crafted, quote-laden profiles to the loosely concealed declarations of love in every AIM away message.
And let’s not forget the e-mail surveys. Oh, how I loved the e-mail surveys.
But what does this have to do with running, you ask?
You caught me: Very little. Basically, I’d like to fill in this 2012 running survey making its rounds across the blogosphere, and – like BuzzFeed – am physically unable to post anything without making an obscure 90s reference.
So after a very long and unnecessary lead-in, I bring you a recap of my year in running.
Best race experience? The Marine Corps Marathon, hands down. Big shocker here, I know. But I’ve never before trained so hard for something, or had so many friends and family come out to cheer me on, or high-fived so many strangers or, you know, run 26.2 miles at a time. I’m already counting down the days until I get to do it again on Nov. 3.
Best run? My pre-marathon 20-miler. I’d done a 17-miler, an 18-miler and a 19-miler in the months preceding the MCM, but something about hitting that 20-mile milestone gave me the confidence to know I’d be A-OK come race day. To be honest, it wasn’t my smartest run, since I zoomed through 10 sub-8:00 miles with a speedy friend before eating anything that morning, but it was monumental nonetheless.
Best new piece of gear? My Garmin Forerunner 210. Sure, it stinks to wait in the cold while it locates satellites and yes, it’s sometimes nice to forgo all technology and just get out there and run, but knowing my distance and pace and all that jazz has been pretty instrumental. Runner up: this (partially obscured) medal from a Texas 5K, that I actually won for placing. That doesn’t happen in Central Park.
Best piece of running advice you received? Don’t try anything new on race day. Unless it’s puffy-painting your name on your marathon shirt, which is an absolute must. Twitter handle optional.
Most inspirational runner? Everyone who raised thousands of dollars for charities to run the 2012 New York City marathon, and – when canceled last minute due to Hurricane Sandy – opted to still run 26.2 miles on their own to honor all the wonderful organizations they had signed on to support. I wholeheartedly stand behind the decision to cancel the organized race, particularly when parts of the course are still today in dire straits, but the backlash against those “selfish” runners who chose to honor their charity sponsors anyways by running four Central Park loops sans water stations and spectators was wholly unfounded. She thinks so, too.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Unremarkable in the overall scheme of things, but pretty darn impressive for me.
How was your running year? Feel free to steal this survey for your own recap. If you don’t, you’ll have bad luck forever, or something.